New Deal, the Government's scheme to help jobless young people break into the job market, was launched in Harrow and Brent on Monday with a little help from a friendly bus company.

Council representatives, MPs and other notables boarded the New Deal bus -- on loan from Harrow-based Metroline -- to drive through the two boroughs.

Among the passengers was Isobel Morton, Employment Service district manager (pictured), who will run the scheme in Brent and Harrow.

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"New Deal will provide a range of opportunities that, for the first time, use the experience of local employers, voluntary services, colleges and councils to match the needs of the employers to the aspirations of the young," she said.

The scheme aims to equip young people aged 18 to 24 with work experience and the skills necessary to make headway in the job market. Employers are paid to keep them on as trainees.

If someone on the scheme does not find work within a "gateway" period of six months, he or she will have a choice of four options: a subsidised job with an employer; work in the voluntary sector; work with the Environmental Task Force, or full time education or training.

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